Lovelock No Longer an AGW Alarmist

“James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his “Gaia” theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being “alarmist” about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too.” according to a report by MSNBC.  Lovelock still supports the theory of man-made global warming (AGW), but clearly he wishes to back away from the Alarmists that dominate that movement and are followed closely by the mass media.

For those who don’t know James Lovelock, he is considered a major force in the AGW movement.  In a 2007 Time magazine special edition titled “Heroes of the Environment”, Lovelock was cited as one of 13 “leaders and visionaries” of the environmental movement.  Also cited in that edition were Gore, Gorbachev, Prince Charles, Angela Merkel, Robert Redford, David Suzuki and several others.  (I know, I know, based on his company in the Time list you may want to question its value.)   Lovelock is a Fellow of the Royal Society.   He has been awarded many prizes including the Wollaston Medal, the Geological Society highest award.  Charles Darwin was a previous winner.  He was made Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1990.

Here are several of Lovelock’s Alarmist positions.

“Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

“By 2040, parts of the Sahara desert will have moved into middle Europe. We are talking about Paris – as far north as Berlin. In Britain we will escape because of our oceanic position.”  “If you take the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predictions, then by 2040 every summer in Europe will be as hot as it was in 2003 – between 110F and 120F. It is not the death of people that is the main problem, it is the fact that the plants can’t grow – there will be almost no food grown in Europe.”[25]

In 2006 Dr Lovelock predicted the Earth “would catch a morbid fever” that would destroy six billion people – “the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.  In 2009, he told the Guardian that “we may face planet-wide devastation worse even than unrestricted nuclear war between superpowers”.

Lovelock formulated the Gaia hypothesis:  “First formulated by Lovelock during the 1960s as a result of work for NASA concerned with detecting life on Mars the Gaia hypothesis proposes that living and non-living parts of the Earth form a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism.”

So what is he now saying?

“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,”

“The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,”

“The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that….”

He adds that Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” as other examples of “alarmist” forecasts of the future.

Well,  we are better off by one Alarmist dousing his flaming rhetoric.  But there are many others out there still untamed and a mass media still happy to pass such rhetoric along as science.


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